One of my favorite things about life here is how a quick bike ride gets me not just to a different part of the city, but sometimes, to what feels like a completely different country. Of course, the Richmond is no average American neighborhood either. Here whole roast ducks glisten in storefront windows as they languorously drip fat onto the noodles, veggies, and rice below. It’s a concrete jungle where animated conversations in Russian and Chinese ricochet off the buildings, and buses thunder down Geary Boulevard.
Japantown is just a few miles down Geary but is a world away. At the Japan Center mall, window displays call out with kimonos and teapots for traditionalists or sticker photo booths and big-eyed, freakishly adorable figurines for the younger crowd. Maneki greets you with a raised paw at every turn.
This week my two wheels were a passport to a collision of old and new Japanese traditions and a uniquely San Francisco experience. Sumo was in town!
Sumo Closeup: Scott Maira
Sumo Wrestlers: studioanime